Pick the perfect destination planning for a trip. On a tight budget? This guide will give you the basic tools on how to choose a destination that won’t break the bank.…
places with history
You want to discover Europe with your family and you think that big cities are not for you? Travelling with children is a wonderful way to strengthen the bonds within your family and to give kids the chance to see the great, beautiful world. Thus, you have no ideas about where you want to visit with kids in Europe for family breaks. Today we are looking at the best European cities for kids.…
Salzburg, Austria has a certain magic for us. We had to visit before our time in Europe ended. Here is our ultimate guide to Salzburg with Kids.…
Within the confines of the huge Prague Castle complex is an ancient, narrow street with small, colorful houses. Entering Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička) felt like walking into a fairy tale village.
The name of the Lane is derived from goldsmiths who used to live there, as can be seen in the house No. 15. In the 16th century, the name “Goldsmith Lane” has been documented which later changed to the present “Golden Lane”.
The Golden Lane was built when an outer wall to the castle complex was added. The houses were constructed for and occupied by Emperor Rudolph II’s castle guards or marksmen in the 16th century.
We also ventured up the stairs to some of the displays. The upstairs portion was a long walk through exhibits of armors and weapons which connected most of the houses on the street. The most disturbing exhibit was the torture chamber room full of instruments that can make most of us cringe.
A visit to the Golden Lane doesn’t take up much time but definitely worth a stop and a stroll.
Some of the houses have been decorated with furniture,
Visiting Golden Lane Basics and Tips
- Entry to Golden Lane isn’t free. Tickets to street can be purchased separately just for the street or combined with the Prague Castle complex ticket. We had the combination self-guided visitor ticket for the castle which was a better deal.
- Tickets: 250czk ($13 USD) for a short visit ticket or 350czk ($18.70 USD) for a long visit ticket and can be purchased at the ticket center across from St. Vitus Cathedral. Family admission tickets are also available.
- Golden Lane is located in the northeast corner of the the Prague Castle complex. Walk along the side of the church and monastery of St. George with the red facade to reach it. There were some signs pointing towards the street.
- Take your time walking around the lane and looking at the room displays closely. The shops are also wonderful for browsing. You’ll never know what interesting things you’ll find.
Location: The Old Burgrave of Prague Castle, Jiřská 6
Getting there: by Metro A station Malostranská, Tram 22 – stop Pražský hrad
Open: daily, Apr.–Oct. 9–18, Nov.–Mar. 9–16 closed 24/12
Admission: 50 CZK (or can be part of your castle ticket Prague Castle Short Tour – 250 CZK), admission free with Prague Card
Opening hours (free entrance):
April – Octoberdaily5:00 – 24:00
Prague is known as the Golden City and always seemed so photogenic and felt like it belonged in fairy tale books. We really enjoyed the few days we spent here over Christmas break. Its architecture, cobble-stoned streets, friendly locals, history and the colourful city has made it one of our favourite European cities. We found Prague to be family-friendly.
Here area handful of free things to do in Prague with kids.
Dětský Island (Children’s Island)
The island’s current name originates from the beginning of the 1960’s, when a children’s playground was built here.
This playground has something for everyone! It caters for toddlers, pre-school kids or schoolchildren. It is located on the island and thus offers some gorgeous views of the city. Children will enjoy watching boats pass through the canal. Mushroom shower is one of the most popular attractions of the park, especially in summer. The playground also includes swings, slides, sandpits, spring riders, a little house, a water fountain, a climbing frame etc.
The northern part of the island features a synthetic turf for various ball games, a tennis court, a petaque and skateboard area. The playground also offers toilet facilities.
Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock
Prague’s Old Town Square is very picturesque with many historic buildings and full of activity. Restaurants, food stalls, churches, and a variety of shops surround the square with many alleyways begging to be discovered.
The Astronomical Clock of Prague rings on the hour, every hour. The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still operating
Walk around the Castle Complex
This vast castle complex dominates the city skyline and where many tourists head to so expect a lot of crowds. But, it’s well worth a visit. While it’s not free to enter the museums, Golden Lane or most of St. Vitus Cathedral, it is still free to walk around, enjoy and explore the castle grounds and admire the striking architecture.
It’s free to enter St. Vitus Cathedral but you are restricted to the front portion area. Visitors must pay to further explore the church.
Cross the Charles Bridge
One of Europe’s most famous and oldest bridge is also a must-see attraction in Prague. Walk the bridge during the day and at night.
30 sandstone statues line the bridge and many of them are fantastic works of art and a lesson in religious history. Grab a guide to the statues and play scavenger hunt with the kids here.
For a small fee of less than a euro or dollar, the two tower bridges are open for climbing for scenic views of the castle and the Old Town area.
Tour the Jewish Quarter.
The Jewish Quarter has: six synagogues, including Maisel Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue and the Old-New Synagogue; the Jewish Ceremonial Hall; and the Old Jewish Cemetery, the most remarkable of its kind in Europe.
You can’t actual enter the monuments without a tour guide or tickets but you are welcome to explore the Jewish Quarter and all the architecture it has to offer.
Visit the John Lennon Wall
The Lennon Wall, or John Lennon Wall, started off as just any old wall, but since the 1980s it has become a tribute to the famous band member. After Lennon’s murder in 1980, his image was painted on this wall opposite the French Embassy along with song lyrics and political graffiti. Despite numerous coats of whitewash from the secret police in the early years, along with the property owners in recent years, the graffiti was always reposted and they have bowed down to the posting of it in recent years.
Sightsee the local Architecture
Prague is home to some wonderful and inspiring architecture all across the city from many different eras. If you want to see some Romanesque architecture check out St George’s Basilica in Prague Castle, for Baroque visit St. Nicholas’ Church in the Old Town Square, Gothic can be seen at the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn and the Old Town Hall, both in the Old Town Square, and for Art Nouveau just look around the city at the many buildings with distinctive features such as faces and flowers in buildings’ facades.
Parks and Gardens
We were quite surprised to see many green spaces scattered throughout the city of spires. There are about 200 parks in Prague and some that have been here for centuries. Urban parks were popular places for families to have picnics, play and sunbathe especially during the summer weekends when we were there.
In the Old Town Square, one of the most dominating features is the stunning Church of Our Lady Before Tyn. This Gothic-style church is instantly recognizable with its two spires; however, you will find a Baroque style largely dominating the interior. Also, rumour has it that this church was the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Take a free walking tour
Prague is a great place for a walking tour with its many romantic and winding streets along with stunning architecture. You’ll find a free walking tour running twice a day in the city with a starting point in the Old Town Square in front of the Tourism Office at 10.45am and 2 pm. This 3-hour tour covers all of the popular sites along with some lesser known areas, all accompanied with inside knowledge. While the tours are free, the guides make their money from tips only so try to contribute a few Koruna.
- Czech Museum of Music – Free every first Thursday of the month from 2-6 PM. It houses a collection of 700,000 items and exhibits on music’s history.
- Prague National Gallery – Free every first Wednesday of the month from 3-8 PM. With over 400,000 art objects, this is the country’s largest art institution.
- Lobkowicz Palace– Free entry on every first Wednesday of the month from 4-6 PM.
- National Technical Museum – Free entry on every first Friday of the month.
England is a country with a rich history and impressive culture. For some, it may just be another destination to tick off from their bucket list. But what lies underneath the lovely Baroque English houses, Georgian architecture, and Victorian-inspired infrastructures is land cultivated by historical people whom we now look up to today.
England is the perfect choice on your next travel itinerary as it can be visited at any time of the year. With moderate weather during the winter and summer months, you can be sure you’ll get the most out of your visit. We’ve rounded up the top 6 things to do in England. Enjoy!
To which I earn a small commission, at zero cost to you!
1. Visit a Castle
The country is saturated with momentous castles that will leave you awestricken. These medieval castles were used as barracks to defend against the enemies. Do you ever wonder why castles in England are colossal? That’s because they were built on high grounds to have a full vantage point over incoming intruders.
One of the most famous castles is Warwick Castle in River Avon. It takes more or less an hour by train from London to get to Warwick Castle. So don’t miss it!
2. Go to a Museum
If you want to discover England on an in-depth level, visiting their world-class museums fits the bill. Get to know the country’s economic and political history. They also have a National Media Museum where you can enjoy vintage films in amazing cinemas. However, The British Museum is one of the most sought after museums in England. A British collector, Sir Hans Sloane, has over 71,000 objects preserved after he died. These objects were sold to King George II in exchange for 20,000 British pounds, paid to his heirs. The British Museum now gets millions of visitors yearly.
3. Try English Tea
Do you know that when tea was introduced in England during the mid-17th century, it was so expensive that it first became adapted only by aristocrats? And do you know that Thomas Twining was the one who built the first tea shop for women in 1717? After that, several tea shops slowly emerged all across England. Soon, tea was available for all people with varying social status. We know you can easily purchase a box of Twinings tea (thanks to Thomas Twining!), but there’s nothing more dignified than drinking tea in England.
4. See Stonehenge
Stonehenge is probably one of the most famous tourist destinations in England. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s the world’s most famous prehistoric monument and a World Heritage Site. It was built around 5,000 years ago. But the beautiful stone circle was created around the Neolithic period. Delight in the vast landscape on foot and check the 250 relics in the visitor center, along with an up-close encounter with a 5,500-year-old man.
5. Feel the Beatles Vibe
Abbey Road was once an ordinary road in Northwest London. When The Beatles shot their album cover there back in 1969, Abbey Road is now a renowned destination that tourists flock to every year. The famous crossing is now like a sacred shrine! If you ever sang your heart out to “Hey Jude” or “Yesterday” or “Hello Goodbye,” then this is a trip you cannot miss.
6. Get Closer to Shakespeare
William Shakespeare has been gone for over 400 years, but his fans’ adoration for him has never wavered. Whether you’ve read all his literary pieces or not, immersing into Shakespeare culture will make your England trip complete. There’s Shakespeare’s birthplace, Shakespeare’s Globe, Juliet’s Balcony, Shakespeare’s Cliff, and more. So, to go or not to go? That is the question.
Of course, how can we forget England’s most famous pies? It’s a golden rule to try a country’s authentic cuisine. And English cuisine doesn’t get more authentic than steak and kidney pies!
This post was written by…
Evelyn Paulson of Wrap This Now
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I absolutely hate it when people ask me what’s my favourite thing to do or see in Toronto.
As a travel blogger, it’s the equivalent of asking me what’s my favourite destination – and trust me I get asked that question a lot.…
There is a lot to consider when addressing the overall cost of a family trip to Europe; time of year, hotel selection, attraction tickets, food, flights, transportation, and extras.
While we will be discussing various expenses to your European vacation, and will be speaking in a lot of vague hypotheticals, please remember that each vacation differs from the next and there is no right-way to vacation in Europe. If you have any questions or require clarification, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and we can give specific examples from our travels.
How Much Does It Cost To Take The Family To Europe?
Time of year
Deciding on the right time of year to visit Europe can literally half the cost of your overall vacation. High season is notably more expensive, more crowded, and exponentially more uncomfortable due to weather.
Take flights, hotels and attraction ticket costs into consideration when deciding on a date, not just what is more convenient.
Getting There – $800 to $1500 per person
Most people will need to fly in order to get to Europe, but once you have landed, there are still more hoops to go through in order to reach your destination city and hotel.
Budget airlines will cut costs by charging for every little thing; checked bag, snacks on board, headphones… and their flights don’t operate at all airports. Some have their own airports, far out of town, and this will increase the cost of your taxi ride to the hotel.
Tip; Air Canada flights allow Service Members 3 checked bags free of charge when presented with Government ID. Find out which discounts and privileges you have available to you.
From Toronto, you can expect to pay upwards of $800 per person, even during off season, to get to many places in Europe. Play with arrival and departure airports and see if driving 3 hours out of town will save you $1500 on your flights. True story.
There is a sweet spot when children are absolutely free, and then start getting more and more expensive as they get older. Traveling is no different.
From 75% off flights for lap babies, to free accommodations, under 2 years old is the best time to travel with kids. After that, public transit, restaurants and even attractions start to charge for school aged children.
Accommodations – 100-200€ per night
A significant portion of your vacation will be eaten up by accommodations. Mostly, because you are charged per occupancy, and not per room. This means you will pay more to have 4 people in a single room than 1 person in the same room. While this is still cheaper than 4 separate rooms, one still needs to consider this additional cost when creating your vacation budget.
Furthermore, European hotels offer more variations in room styles; some are single beds, some are two single beds, some are 1 single and 1 double. Look for the room that is an exact match to your needs, because the number of beds does factor into the price of the room as well.
There are options available for super cheap, but you need to consider what you are paying for, where that money is going to, and how is the local economy affected by your choices. Because of these things, we refuse to use Airbnb or other home-share budget accommodation sites. Families staying in hostels tend to pay about as much, if not more, than a hotel and are not as accommodating as chain hotels. Therefore, we always suggest using Booking.com. They have saved our butts more than once and have great customer service.
On average, we try to stay between 100-120 euro per night for a family suite, or combined rate of 120 euro for two rooms. This includes parking and breakfast.
Food – €35 to €75 per person/per day
There are hotels available with a full
If flying, it is nearly impossible to bring kitchen supplies and stock groceries, so everything needs to be purchased again and potentially left behind once the vacation is over.
Considering the cost of eating out for lunch and dinner, because we have breakfast included in our hotel stay, and the time it takes to come back to the hotel to cook said meal instead of staying out in the city and exploring after meal times, we prefer to pay a little less for a hotel room and simply eat out. We do, however, stock the hotel room with healthy snacks so we can cut costs while out and about anyway.
A family of 4 can easily spend 40 euro for lunch and another 100 euro for dinner (alcohol included). Pub food is the best and least expensive non-fast food option we have encountered. And Pubs are everywhere in Europe. If your party has any minors, note that many pubs won’t allow them after 7/8pm so mind your timings when picking a place to eat.
Remember, Europe doesn’t expect gratuities the same way America does.
Museums, Attractions & Theme Park Tickets
What are you doing while on vacation? Are you walking around, soaking up all the free things there are to do in town or do you plan on actually visiting a museum or attraction?
Hitting up the free-things list is great to keep costs down but can also leave a lot unchecked on the bucket list. Some attractions allow children under 6 to enter for free, others charge after 3 years old. Check it out.
There are a great number of museums and attractions that sell combination tickets; pay for this museum and get half off the next. Or purchase a city pass and get free/discounted entrance to a fair number of attractions in the city. Look up your options, see who needs to pay for what and where then consider the various costs of combinations and passes. Sometimes skipping one museum can make a huge difference – but how important was that museum?
Will you be driving around town, taking the train, public transit, walking… and how did you get to your holiday home in the first place?
Cities tend to be overcrowded and thus hotels/attractions charge a lot for parking. I will pay a little more for parking included because I know it will cost less than the cheaper hotel and paying for city parking. Big picture.
Now that we have parked the car, does it cost to take the car out during the day? Is there parking at your attraction of choice? How much is the bus or tram?
Those city passes that we just mentioned sometimes come with transit tickets. If they don’t, the city is more than happy to sell you a tourist transit pass or re-loadable transit card. It is imperative that tourists like us follow the local laws and actually pay for our tickets. Transit officials increase fines constantly because they are not hefty enough to deter locals and tourists from abusing the honour system.
Dusseldorf, for example, charges 100 euro on your first offence. And they get you to pay right there and then, or they escort you from the train and wait for the police to show. I have seen it one too many times while living in Germany and it is not pleasant. Imagine doing this with your family by your side, in a language you don’t understand. Just pay the ticket.
There will always be shopping involved, no matter how many times you tell the kids they can’t buy anything today. Give everyone a set allowance, enough to actually buy something so not 10 euro per day, but more like 60 euro for the whole vacation, to spend on souvenirs and nonsense as they please.
This one doesn’t come up a lot when you think of budget vacation but we have splurged on a few private tours in our 4 years in Europe. Why? Because time and energy.
Touring the Colosseum was amazing. And it was even more amazing because we had a guided tour. We knew the kids weren’t going to cooperate long enough to see everything, and we have done enough museum tours with audio-guides to know that I have retained absolutely zero information from them – between the constant interruptions from the kids or the kids moving us too fast through the museums. There are some locations that you just want to know everything about and a private tour is the best way to do it.
And sometimes, a private tour is the only way to do it. There are a handful of castles in Europe, Heidelberg and Schloss Marienburg for example, that require a private tour to gain access to the inside of the castle. It is free to wander on the grounds, but that’s about it.
What Does a Family European Vacation Cost? The Results Are In!
Depending on the time of year, a family of 4 can expect to pay anything from $10,000 for 10 days in England to $4,000 for a week in Hamburg. It all depends on so many factors.
The only thing we can be sure of, is that you won’t be hoping on a plane every long weekend to cross the Ocean.
Pro Tip; The longer you stay, the cheaper each city becomes. Why? Because the bulk of your holiday costs will be the flight. They range from $500 per person round trip to $1500 per person. Once that has been taken out of the equation, Europe is a rather inexpensive vacation destination (just stay away from England, the British Pound is worth twice the price of the Canadian Dollar, and therefore it is Extremely expensive to visit).
If you know you have a lot of ground to cover and not a whole lot of money to cover it with, block a significant amount of vacation time and “do it all”. The fewer times you have to jump on a plane to cross the Atlantic, the fewer overtime hours you have to put in to pay for the vacation in the first place.
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